Jeddah, a major urban center in Saudi Arabia, is a city with a rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning seaside scenery. For those pondering things to do in Jeddah, exploring the historic Al-Balad district with its traditional coral stone buildings, and visiting the King Fahd Fountain, one of the tallest fountains in the world, are top activities.
The city’s bustling Jeddah Corniche offers a scenic waterfront promenade, perfect for leisurely strolls, with art installations and recreational areas along the way. Nearby, the Floating Mosque stands as a stunning architectural marvel, seemingly floating on the waters of the Red Sea.
Beyond its historical and cultural attractions, Jeddah is also renowned for its shopping scene, with numerous souks, malls, and boutiques offering a wide range of products. For those seeking the best places to visit in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah’s blend of historical charm, cultural richness, and seaside beauty makes it a must-visit destination.
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Attractions & Things to Do in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
1. King Fahd’s Fountain
King Fahd’s Fountain, also known as the Jeddah Fountain, is the tallest of its type in the world. It shoots water up to 312 meters (1,024 feet) above the Red Sea. The fountain is an iconic symbol of Jeddah and is especially stunning at night when illuminated.
Travel Tip: The best views can be had from the Jeddah Corniche, which is also a lovely spot for an evening stroll.
2. Old Jeddah (Al-Balad)
Al-Balad, the historic center of Jeddah, is known for its traditional multi-story houses made of coral stone and beautiful wooden balconies. It provides a glimpse into the city’s past, now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Travel Tip: Visit during the cooler parts of the day, and don’t miss the opportunity to shop for traditional items and souvenirs.
3. Jeddah Corniche
The Jeddah Corniche is a 30-kilometer coastal resort area of the city, with a beautifully landscaped seafront filled with modern art installations. It’s a popular place for recreational activities and family picnics.
Travel Tip: Try to catch the sunset here for some breathtaking views.
4. Fakieh Aquarium
The Fakieh Aquarium offers the opportunity to explore the underwater world of the Red Sea, as well as species from other oceans and seas. It’s a family-friendly attraction with dolphin and seal lion shows.
Travel Tip: Check the schedule for the shows when you arrive to plan your visit accordingly.
5. Red Sea Mall
The Red Sea Mall is one of the biggest shopping centers in Jeddah, offering a mix of international and local retail brands, along with entertainment and dining options.
Travel Tip: The mall gets crowded during weekends, so visit on a weekday if you prefer a quieter shopping experience.
6. Floating Mosque
The Floating Mosque, officially known as Al Rahma Mosque, is built over the Red Sea, giving the illusion that it floats on water, particularly at high tide. It’s an architectural wonder and a peaceful place for worship.
Travel Tip: Non-Muslim visitors are welcome outside prayer times; dress conservatively as a sign of respect.
7. Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum
The Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum showcases the rich history of Arabian civilizations, Islamic heritage, and the culture of Jeddah and the surrounding region.
Travel Tip: Allocate a couple of hours to fully appreciate the exhibits, as there is a lot to see.
8. Atallah Happy Land Park
Atallah Happy Land Park is one of Jeddah’s largest amusement parks, offering a variety of rides and attractions suitable for all ages. It has indoor and outdoor areas, including a skating rink and bowling alley.
Travel Tip: The park can be crowded during holidays and weekends, so if you’re looking to avoid long lines, visit on a weekday.
9. Nasseef House
Nasseef House is a cultural landmark situated in Al-Balad that once belonged to one of Jeddah’s most powerful trading families. Today, it serves as a museum and cultural center that exhibits the lifestyle of Jeddah’s residents in the early 20th century.
Travel Tip: Take a guided tour to gain a deeper understanding of the historical significance of the house and the region.
10. Jeddah Sculpture Museum
The Jeddah Sculpture Museum is an open-air museum displaying an impressive collection of modern sculptures by international artists, set along the Corniche. This outdoor gallery reflects the city’s artistic and cosmopolitan ethos.
Travel Tip: Visit during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat, and bring a camera for some unique photo opportunities.
11. Silver Sands Beach
Silver Sands Beach is a private beach resort offering a pristine beach experience with clear waters, white sand, and excellent facilities. It’s an ideal spot for those seeking a more exclusive beach outing.
Travel Tip: You’ll need to buy a day pass or be a member to access the beach, so book in advance, especially during peak season.
12. Al Shallal Theme Park
Al Shallal Theme Park is another amusement park in Jeddah with a large variety of rides and attractions, including a famous double-looped roller coaster and an ice skating rink.
Travel Tip: The park is beautifully lit at night, making it a magical experience after dark.
FAQ About Things to Do in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
What are the must-visit places in Jeddah for a first-time visitor?
For first-time visitors, the historical Al-Balad district, the stunning King Fahd’s Fountain, the Jeddah Corniche, and the Red Sea Mall are essential places to see in Jeddah.
Can visitors go diving or snorkeling in Jeddah?
Yes, Jeddah is famous for its Red Sea coastline, offering some of the best diving and snorkeling experiences with its rich marine life and beautiful coral reefs. There are several dive centers that cater to all experience levels.
Is there a cultural site that encapsulates Jeddah’s history?
Al-Balad, the historical area of Jeddah, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a must-visit for those interested in the rich history of the region, featuring traditional homes made of coral stone and beautiful Islamic architecture.
What family-friendly activities are available in Jeddah?
Families can enjoy the Al Shallal Theme Park, visit the Fakieh Aquarium, or spend a day at the Jeddah Waterfront where children’s play areas, art installations, and picnic spots are plentiful.
Where can I find traditional Saudi cuisine in Jeddah?
Jeddah has numerous restaurants offering traditional Saudi cuisine. Al Baik is a local favorite for fast food, while more upscale options like Al Nakheel serve a variety of traditional dishes in a more formal setting.
Are there any art galleries or museums in Jeddah?
Yes, Jeddah is home to several art galleries and museums. Athr Gallery is known for contemporary art, and the Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum showcases the city’s history, culture, and art.
What shopping experiences does Jeddah offer?
Jeddah is a shopper’s paradise with options ranging from traditional souks like Souq Al Alawi to modern shopping malls like the Mall of Arabia, offering both luxury brands and local crafts.
Can I visit any parks or green spaces in Jeddah?
Jeddah’s green spaces are a welcome escape from the city. The Jeddah Sculpture Park and the King Fahd Coastal City Park are great for outdoor relaxation and enjoying the city’s artistic side with public art installations.